Labour unions to hold protest march on Thursday

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) will on Thursday protest the state of the nation, demanding for effective and efficient anti-corruption fight and good governance.

President of NLC Comrade Ayuba Wabba disclosed this while addressing journalists on the planned action in Abuja on Monday.

The protest is tagged National Day of Action against Corruption and for Good Governance.

Wabba said the protesters will submit a petition containing a list of demands to the government at the Presidency and the National Assembly.

He said the workers and Nigerians will gather as early as 7am at the Unity Fountain, from where the protest will head to the Federal Secretariat, the National Assembly and to the Presidency.

“There is the need for a popular mass movement support for the government to call for good governance to overcome the resultant full fledge recession, and free for all multiple exchange rate regime, which has very negative effect on manufacturing and other sectors of the economy,” he said.

He said they will also demand the review of minimum wage and payment of workers’ salaries.

Wabba said, “We should be leading not people who don’t have address trying to lead us from behind. Our perspective is that we must be cleared on where we are going and what our demands are. Our demand is clearly that we must be able to have good governance in place across all our structure. Part of why we have not make sufficient progress and these challenges keep occurring is that there is lack of good governance.

“A lot of resources that would have hitherto address some of these challenges have been taken out by few but instead of responding to those issues as Nigerians, most people tribalise the issues. As a mass organisation, we must be able to situate our argument and contestations within the demand of our members and also wishing the demand of larger public. We are not going to join our own with anybody; we have planned our activities with our civil society allies.

“I situate also the issue of high cost of goods and services . A lot of Nigerians had difficulty in having one meal per day talk less of somebody that is working but has not been paid for six months. In our contestations, we must be able to situate all of these within the context of lack of good governance and also that corruption is fighting back.”

“Basically, whether we like it or not, corruption will continue to fight back, except we the working class and others come together to defeat those forces, nobody will help us,” he added

Wabba lamented the inability of most of the state governors to pay workers salaries, pension and gratuity.

“We thought that we must canvass for the issue of good governance and the fight against corruption as a lot of state government are not doing the needful as it concerns workers. In spite the Paris Club Refund to some of the states, some of the states are not making efforts to ensure that workers interest is given the priority it deserved.

“Gratuity in most of the states are also building up, we have liability of gratuity ranging between seven months and some 77 months. The worst-case scenario is Imo State, where we have liability of gratuity of 77 months and pensions.”

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